Thursday, March 27, 2008

Organic/Natural - The Misleading Label

A new study released this month by the Organic Consumer Association (OCA) shows that there are toxic chemicals in the organic and natural products. The study found that products certified under the USDA National Organic Program DID NOT contain 1,4 dioxane - a cancer-causing ingredient, but most of the best selling personal care products claiming to be "organic" (but not USDA certified) contained the cancer-causing ingredient.

Some Brands Found to Contain 1,4-Dioxane:

  • JASON Pure Natural & Organic
  • Giovanni Organic Cosmetics
  • Kiss My Face
  • Nature’s Gate Organics

Brands Found NOT to Contain 1,4-Dioxane:

All USDA Certified brands tested in the study were 1,4-Dioxane free, including:

  • Dr. Bronner’s
  • Sensibility Soaps (Nourish brand)
  • Terressentials

German Natural “BDIH” Certified brands tested and found to be 1,4-Dioxane free:

  • Aubrey Organics
  • Dr. Hauschka

For a full list of brands tested go here.

1, 4 dioxane get into our bodies from breathing contaminated air, ingestion of contaminated food and drinking water, and dermal contact with products such as cosmetics, detergents, bubble baths and shampoos that contain 1,4-dioxane. Exposure to high levels of 1,4-dioxane can result in liver and kidney damage and death. Eye and nose irritation was reported by people inhaling low levels of 1,4-dioxane vapors for short periods (minutes to hours). Studies in animals have shown that breathing, ingesting, or skin contact with 1,4-dioxane can result in liver and kidney damage. Animals that breathed high amounts of 1,4-dioxane also became drowsy. Laboratory rats and mice that drank water containing 1,4-dioxane during most of their lives developed liver cancer; the rats also developed cancer inside the nose. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services considers 1,4-dioxane as reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen. EPA recommends that the levels of 1,4-dioxane in drinking water that children drink for 1 day not exceed 4 milligrams per liter (4 mg/L) or 0.4 mg/L if they drink the water for 10 days. However, a federal drinking water standard is not available. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set a limit for of 100 parts 1,4-dioxane per 1 million parts of air (100 ppm) in the workplace.

How to reduce the risk?

Families that drink water that could be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane can reduce the risk for exposure to 1,4-dioxane by drinking uncontaminated bottled water.

“To avoid 1,4-Dioxane, the OCA urges consumers to search ingredient lists for indications of ethoxylation including: "myreth," "oleth," "laureth," "ceteareth," any other "eth," "PEG," "polyethylene," "polyethylene glycol," "polyoxyethylene," or "oxynol," in ingredient names. In general, the OCA urges consumers to avoid products with unpronounceable ingredients. "When it comes to misbranding organic personal care products in the U.S., it's almost complete anarchy and buyer beware unless the product is certified under the USDA National Organic Program," says Cummins.”

Well, it is always safe to look for certification of the products claiming to be organic/natural.

1 comment:

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